Five Million Higher Education Students to Benefit from the New Erasmus Scheme
05 Nov 2013
A calling card for European competitiveness and integration, Erasmus` has been a beacon for students and a source of educational innovation and training since its birth in 1987.
Erasmus has been, in other words, a sizeable success as a guarantor of academic opportunity and excellence for EU students studying abroad.
Erasmus` branded individual programmes-- Comenius for school education, Leonardo da Vinci for vocational education and apprentice training, Grundtvig for adult learning, and Youth in Action for a young people`s voluntary service, have sustained nearly 3 million students and teachers in higher education as well as trainers, youth workers and other staff.
Now Parliament`s Cultural and Education Committee has signed off on a new 47% compromise budget increase. The EPP Group´s rapporteur and chair of the committee is Doris Pack.
She admitted that the large funding increases started from a low base but said students could take real cheer.
Doris Pack interview 0:12 - 0:19
0:30 - 0:45
The message is that at least the governments have understood that in education we have to spend more money. (cutaway) We have to keep in mind that education is not a topic of the European Union as such. It is only something where we are adding something to what the national and regional authorities are doing. So I think 47 percent plus is great.
Five million students, almost double the current number, would benefit from the 19 billion Euro budget allocated for the next legislative period until 2020. Madame Pack said masters students could breathe a sigh of relief.
Doris Pack German MEP EPP Group Chair, Cultural and Education Committee on
01:38 - 01:55
So I think it is now a good chance to make your Masters totally outside your country and you get a loan, a loan which is with low interest and which you have to replay late after you finish your studies.
Real flexibility in the new programme means that it will have to find better ways to continue branding Erasmus` different sector specific programmes so that it avoids being mis-labelled as elitist, exclusively higher education funding.
Education via Erasmus, is on a solid footing for the future after the extreme budget crisis of 2012, says Madame Pack.
Doris Pack on
02:40 - 02:50
We said that if we are ringing the alarm bell with Erasmus everybody will understand. So I think it is totally sure that everything that is promised now will be kept.
Another concern is of having Erasmus credits from exchange programmes recognised by the home country´s educational institution. Here Madame Pack made it clear that accrediting universities needed to get their house in order.
Doris Pack on
4:30 - 4:41
04.58 - 05:10
It is in the hands and the goodwill of the different universities. They should accept that somebody who has made their studies in Salamanca has the same credit points as the one doing it in Goteborg. (cutaway) They should take it as an input to go forward and not be so stubborn and to believe that only me being an official in a university I can say this is less worth than the others.
The final vote in plenary for this new and brighter generation of European education and training, is anticipated for later this month. As Madame Pack indicated, lifelong learning is not dead as a philosophy, it simply has a new name.
That name, Erasmus Plus, represents a huge boost to European educational morale. "Opening the spirit" as Doris Pack put it, is good for Europe´s future innovation demands of its students and those who teach them.
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Five million higher education students to benefit from the new Erasmus scheme
The Parliament´s Cultural and Education committee has approved the new Erasmus programme with committee chair Doris Pack of the EPP Group calling it a victory for 47% greater and more secure funding in future which an estimated 5 million students will enjoy.
European Parliament, EPP Group, Erasmus Plus, Doris Pack
Ioannis ZografosEPP TV Managing ProducerBelgiumIoannis.email@example.com+32(0) 2 284 18 45